On October 14 at 6:30pm, award-winning artist, author, and educator Deborah Willis will deliver the virtual 2020 Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture, titled Reflections on the Power of a Single Image. Willis’s talk will consider how images of black social protests are fixed in our popular imagination through the photograph. Beginning in 1840, identity, race and gender shaped and controlled the reception of photographic portraits, both politically and aesthetically. Willis uses the visual archive of the ongoing struggle for human and civil rights to connect images of black activism from the 19th century to the 21st century to explore the power of a single image.
Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is university professor and chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where she teaches courses on photography, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. She is also the director of the NYU’s Center for Black Visual Culture. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories. She received a MacArthur Fellowship; was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University; and received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In addition to being one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture, Willis is a professional art photographer.
The Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture is an annual program hosted each fall. Previous Stone lecturers have included Angela Davis, Edwidge Danticat, and Nnenna Freelon. This year, the lecture will be delivered virtually via Zoom teleconference. Registration will be required to receive the access link. Click here to register.